|Tigers face tough task of slowing Angels' Trout|
Mike Trout had a career day at the plate against New York Yankees on Saturday. Now, the Detroit Tigers have the unenviable task of trying to control the Los Angeles Angels slugger for four days.
Trout racked up career highs with five hits and 11 total bases in an 11-4 Angels rout. He cooled off Sunday, going 0-for-4, but he's still batting .306 and is tied with Boston's Mookie Betts for the major-league lead with 17 homers.
"He is the best player on the planet," Angels pitcher Jaime Barria said to the Los Angeles Times. "I'm proud to be part of the team with him."
Trout will try to carry his success into Detroit's Comerica Park, where he has been rather ordinary. In 20 career games there, Trout owns a .273 batting average and .349 on-base percentage while hitting three homers. In 41 games against the Tigers, he has hit .266 with a .347 on-base percentage but has gone deep 11 times.
Detroit won two of three from the Chicago White Sox during the weekend at the start of a 12-game homestand. The Tigers play four games against the Angels, three against the Toronto Blue Jays and two against the New York Yankees before they head back out on the road.
"You appreciate the fact that you're going up against a good baseball team and you should rise to the occasion," Tigers manager Ron Gardenhire said. "Hopefully, our team will take the challenge and rise to the occasion and we'll see what happens. But yeah, it's fun to see some of the best players in the game and Trout is definitely one of those, if not the best player in the game."
The Tigers had better pitching staffs in the past, and there are no Justin Verlanders awaiting Trout in Detroit. He will face their most effective starter this season on Monday in left-hander Matthew Boyd.
Boyd (2-4, 3.29 ERA) left his most recent start after four-plus innings on Tuesday with what was described as spasming near his left oblique. He gave up only one hit in that outing at Minnesota but also issued four walks and didn't have a strikeout.
Boyd, who has never previously faced the Angels, tossed at least six innings in his previous four starts.
Detroit has won its last three home series.
"They always say try to be around .500 on the road and win series at home. That's what our fans pay money to come see us do," Gardenhire said. "We've got some pretty good teams coming in, so let's see if we can hang in with those guys, too."
Boyd will be opposed by another left-hander, Tyler Skaggs. In two career outings against the Tigers, Skaggs is 1-0 with a 0.77 ERA.
Skaggs won three of his first five starts this season, but he is 0-2 with three no-decisions in his last five outings. In his most recent appearance, Skaggs gave up three runs and six hits in five innings on Wednesday in Toronto.
The status of Angels outfielder and former Tigers player Justin Upton is questionable for the series. He suffered a left forearm contusion from a Sonny Gray fastball on Saturday and did not play Sunday.
Tigers first baseman Miguel Cabrera (right hamstring strain) won't play Monday, but Gardenhire is hopeful he will be activated sometime during the homestand.